You can run the esxtop utility using the ESXi Shell to communicate with the management interface of the ESXi host. You must have root user privileges.

esxtop Utility

To use the esxtop utility, type the following command with desired options:

esxtop [-h] [-v] [-b] [-l] [-s] [-a] [-c config file] [-R vm-support_dir_path]  [-d delay] [-n iterations] [-export-entity entity-file] [-import-entity entity-file]
Command-Line Help Option Description
-h Prints this help menu.
-v Prints version.
-b Enables batch mode.
-l Locks the esxtop objects to those available in the first snapshot.
-s Enables secure mode.
-a Displays all statistics.
-c Sets the esxtop configuration file, which by default is .esxtop60rc.
-R Enables replay mode.
-d Sets the delay between updates in seconds.
-n Runs esxtop for only n iterations. Use -n infinity to run esxtop for infinite period of time.
-u Suppresses server-wide physical CPU statistics.
For example:
[root@localhost:~] esxtop

The above command will open the interactive screen of esxtop, by default.

[root@localhost:~] esxtop -b -a -d 10 -n 3 > /vmfs/volumes/localhost/test.csv

The above command runs the batch mode of esxtop with all counters, updates delay of 10 secs for 3 iterations. The output is written to the test.csv file which can be opened with other tools like Windows Perfmon.

esxtop Configuration

The esxtop utility reads its default configuration from .esxtop50rc on the ESXi system. This configuration file consists of nine lines.

The first eight lines contain lowercase and uppercase letters to specify which fields appear in which order on the CPU, memory, storage adapter, storage device, virtual machine storage, network, interrupt, and CPU power panels. The letters correspond to the letters in the Fields or Order panels for the respective esxtop panel.

The ninth line contains information on the other options. Most important, if you saved a configuration in secure mode, you do not get an insecure esxtop without removing the s from the seventh line of your .esxtop50rc file. A number specifies the delay time between updates. As in interactive mode, typing c, m, d, u, v, n, I, or p determines the panel with which esxtop starts.

Note: Do not edit the .esxtop50rc file. Instead, select the fields and the order in a running esxtop process, make changes, and save this file using the W interactive command.